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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Best-Of SG101 »

Permalink 9th annual Surf Guitar 101 Convention! Sat. August 13th 12pm to 12am, info for SG101 BBQ on page 11

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Jeff(bigtikidude)

Yes indeed, thank you Ran!
That's a good deal of hauling and work and we're very appreciative.

Cheers,
Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

Wow!

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Thanks, Ran!!! Awesome sounding gear! Loaning the gear is in-and-of-itself, huge, but when you throw in all the heavy lifting, and transporting, maintaining the gear, and troubleshooting & making adjustments on-the-fly, during the shows, it is a Herculean effort! Much appreciated!!!

Bob

bigtikidude wrote:

2 things about next year,
10th annual convention.

First, tiki oasis is moving forward a week,
So I will move forward a week.
So plan for August 4th 5th 6th weekend.

Second, the Convention will be 2 nights!
And probably 6 international bands!

Wow!

I guess maybe HOT ROD HULA HOP has to move again also - it was nice for an Ohioan to attend both events this year.

surfbeatslbc wrote:

Can't wait to see Bambi Molesters, etc... next year. Let the speculation begin. So are you going to skip the pier show that month next year, or do it a different weekend?

Yes, BAMBI MOLESTERS and I'm there dude!

Thanks again to Ran , BTD , Marie and crew and front table help --- all of them as this year's event was fantastic times two and definitely left one grasping for more stamina.,but well worth it.

The new guitar is very nice, was writing some new stuff with it today and I may change the strings to heavier gage flat wounds. Very nice ...thanks to all that made that happen.

I happen to agree with the other reviews about surprise , quality and positive comments comments and as to why it took a while to respond —

Don't Fear the Reverb ! Grateful Surf ! SURFIN' Tiki Bandits !
I can be reached through the following or at don@donschott.com. :

www.donschott.com
www.dontfearreverb.com
www.kokopellistages.com
www.grateful-surf.rocks

Wow, what a great photo! Pray for no rain! (I guess in SoCal you don't have to worry about that - in the Midwest, that's be really tempting the elements!) HUGE thanks to Ran for making this incredible amp and reverb unit collection available to all of us! I know that he really paid a personal price in doing that - having to be there very early both on Saturday morning and Sunday morning, and pretty late on both nights. Your generosity is deeply appreciated, Ran!

I think part of the issue why more people haven't written about the convention so far is that it really was pretty overwhelming (in a good way!!). How do you write about ALL the things that happened??? I have no idea! I've been very busy since getting home 12 days ago, especially with the school year beginning, but the big part of the issue is that writing about it just seemed too daunting. I cannot and will not write a huge review, I don't have it in me and nobody would read it, anyway! So, let me attempt a quick summary, as difficult as that may be.

Wednesday: flew in, got together with Brian Neal (staying in rooms next to each other, sharing a rental), had dinner with MuSick Recordings head honcho Art Bourasseau - very nice!

Thursday: picked up Danny Snyder, went to the stunning Palos Verdes, the first time for all three of us, visited Trump's golf club (unplanned!), had an amazing day seeing SoCal's natural beauty! Had dinner with Warren AKA CaptainSpringfield, and so nice to see him again! Went to the record store show in Santa Monica - The Bradipos IV were on FIRE! LOVED their set! George Tomsco playing The Fireballs classics (with Paul Johnson on rhythm guitar, Marty Tippens on drums and Mike Vernon on bass) blew me away - I couldn't believe how good and clean he sounded given his fairly advanced age! The songs sounded dead-on! A wonderful experience, and the first time we joined up with the SG101 masses - Jeff & Dorthy, Jonpaul and Marie, Josh, Noel, Emilio, etc. etc. It felt like the weekend had officially been kicked off!

Friday: The barbecue was WONDERFUL!!! HUGE thanks to Bill and his wife for stepping in and doing it this year - their house in San Pedro was perfect, and it had stunning view (a stone's throw from the Trump golf club, unbeknownst to us the day before!). A truly wonderful experience communing with all these brothers and sisters in surf, and the perfect second act of the weekend. Off to the Purple Orchid for the Insect Surfers/Space Cossacks show. TINY stage, but we got it all in. Probably the fullest I'd ever seen the Purple Orchid, and we got an astonishing reception! Talk about a friendly audience! They were primed and ready to go! We were very grateful, and truly had FUN! The Insects absolutely KILLED afterwards, what a pleasure to see them play again! Their new drummer Pedro from the Tikiyaki Orchestra/5-0 blew my mind, as did Michael on second guitar. And to be able to just sit, watch and enjoy my brother Jonpaul's bass mastery was intensely enjoyable. I'm in awe of his playing!

Saturday - the BIG day! We got some brunch, and made it to Alpine Village in time for the Original Surfaris Tribute, which was a must-see! They were fantastic! Each player nailed the sound and the style, and it really was like having the '60s come alive! Big bonus: seeing Al Valdez, an original Original Surfari!, play piano with them - it was obvious he was having the time of his life! Two other original Original Surfaris were in the audience, but I didn't get to see them, sadly.

From here, about 1 pm, until we went on at 10:30 pm, things go kinda blurry, I must admit. I set up merch table to sell the new Cossacks live CD and some Madeira stuff, and there I must have spoken with two to three dozen people over the course of seven to eight hours. I would frequently go on the main floor to see various bands, and I can HONESTLY say that there was NO weak act! Every band sounded really great, and some were simply phenomenal! In the early hours I especially enjoyed Crazy Aces, who are clearly ringers but LOVE to play this music! Also, Tikiyaki 5-0 impressed the hell out of me! God, those guys can PLAY! BTW, for those keeping score, Tikiyaki was band number THREE featuring Jonpaul on bass in the previous 18 hours! (He also played with the Original Surfaris.) I didn't hear make a single mistake. Unbelievable. And some of that stuff is COMPLEX! I bow to you, my brother! Kelp and Secret Samurai played rocking sets, showcasing their own unique approach to surf music, too, with impressive musicianship of their own.

The Legends of Surf set was a lot of fun, and Willy Glover (the Pyramids) and Bob Spickard (the Chantays) sounded alright, clearly having a lot of fun, but basically doing 'oldies' sets. (Again, Jonpaul Balak on bass! Dude!!) Paul Johnson kicked ass on a few songs, and it was really nice to include him. But then things got a LOT more intense with Randy Holden and Jac Ttanna of the Fender IV! I thought they were going to play just three songs, but they ended up playing six: besides the amazing Mar Gaya, Everybody Up! and Malibu Run (Randy explained it was actually titled Little Ollie, but the titles were switched), their three released tracks, they also played their other tracks, unreleased until the '80s Japanese comp: the slow, pre-psychedelic and eerie Little Ollie (actually titled Malibu Run - though it should be Malibu Crawl!), Highway Surfer, and then something I didn't recognize that sounded more modern. They ended with a quick reprise of Mar Gaya - a nice touch! Dusty on drums and Matt Quilter on bass killed it, but the star was obviously Randy, who played through a Gomez Surfer AND a brownface Fender Dual Showman! His tone was HUGE. Also huge was his smile through the entire set - he seemed very humble and deeply grateful for the incredible reception he was receiving - and it really was incredible! I think everybody there was just going nuts how great it sounded! Matt told me that they played all these songs quite a bit slower because Randy and Jac are much older, and can't play as fast, but also because they said that these tracks were all sped up when released, and the original tempos were much slower.

At this point, things get REALLY blurry for me. I ended up going to get some food, but the music was starting to get to me. My voice also started really going (though not quite as bad as last year, when I almost completely lost it!) and I was sounding rough. Around 8 pm Art Bourasseau, who had a merch table next to me, looked at me and said I look like I'm about to pass out! I took that as a cue to go get some rest before we played, give my ears a rest and go warm up. The Space Cossacks were supposed to go on at 10 pm, but things were running 30-45 minutes behind so I figured I had at least two hours to get some rest. My hotel was 10 minutes away, so pretty close. I regret that I missed the Mach IV (in particular them since I was told that they had an INCREDIBLE set - the most fun of the whole day!), the Bradipos IV and part of the Messer Chups set, but I had to think about my performance later and make sure I had the energy and focus for it. I also knew I would get to see all three bands the next day at the Huntington Beach. I got back around 10:15 pm, as the Messer Chups were finishing up, refreshed and ready to RAWK!

I will have to stop here, as I have a dinner to go to! I thought I could wrap it up before then, but it was not to be. See how easy it is for me to get verbose???? Anyway, part II coming tomorrow! Have a great Saturday night!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

I’ve been attending these conventions every year since it started, which would make 9 years. I was even fortunate enough to play at 6 of them, a great honor and I appreciate very much being included. There are many wonderful aspects to this yearly ritual that have helped it become one of the key events in my life. Below my post is the list of acts that have played. Let me know if I missed any.

I’m not blessed with detailed memory like most of our reviewers here, I tend to take things in as a whole. I can say that the vast majority of these acts are wonderfully talented people who clearly love what they do. I think that’s the secret behind our surf community. There’s obviously no financial gain for this, it’s all done for the love of the music and increasingly the fondness many have developed for each other in the community, both fans and musicians.

There are different kinds of talent at work here. Some are blessed with high levels of musicianship and to hear how they apply that to the surf music paradigm is endlessly fascinating. But equally interesting is how those of us with a modicum of talent ( I include myself in this category ), use our creativity and personality to carve out our own unique variants. To have both of these play side by side in an egalitarian setting to me is one of the real strengths of the convention.

My favorite part of the convention is just getting to spend time with all the friends I’ve made over these years. I’ve never been a social butterfly, so to have met so many lovely people and to have something in common, and to develop strong relationships with many of them, is a debt I owe to Jeff, Kristena, Jonpaul and Marie,Ran, Josh and all the others who work so hard to put this together every year.

I hope it continues to grow and that those of you who have put off attending finally get off your duffs and make the pilgrimage, you won’t be sorry.

List of acts who played the convention:

Eddie Bertrand w Eliminators (SoCal)
The Boardwalkers(SoCal)
Outterwave,(SoCal)
The Aquasonics(Colorado)
Secret Samurai,(San Diego)
The Madeira from (Michigan,Indiana)
Pollo Del Mar from (NorCal)
Insect Surfers (SoCal)
Detonators (SoCal)
Slacktone(SoCal)
The Ghastly Ones, (SoCal)
The Longboards, (Spain)
The TomorrowMen, (NorCal)
The Verbtones, (Portland)
The Surge, (Atlanta)
Secret Samurai, (SoCal)
The Sand Devils, (SoCal)
The Reventlos,(SoCal)
Paul Johnson and Eddie Bertrand (SoCal)
The Chanteys (SoCal)
The Duotones (SoCal)
Space Cossacks (Washington D.C.)
Frankie and the Poolboys (NorCal)
Atomic Mosquitos (Baltimore)
The Space Rangers (Germany)
Wadadli Riders(Antigua)
The Surfside IV(Phoenix)
Men of Mystery (SoCal)
Satan’s Pilgrims (Portland)
The Razorblades (Germany)
The Bradipos IV (Italy)
The Cocktail Preachers (Chicago)
Daikaiju (Alabama)
Meshugga Beach Party(NorCal)
The Deadbeats(NorCal)
The Blue Demons (Canada)
The Tequila Worms (SoCal)
Jon & the Nightriders (SoCal)


El Ray (Denmark)

Los Venturas (Belgium)

The Exotics (Wisconsin)

The Dynotones (SoCal)

9th Wave (New York)

The Intoxicators (Florida)
Martin Cilia (Australia)
Surfer Joe (Italy)
The Pyronauts (NorCal)
The Aqualads (North Carolina)
The Mystery Men (Atlanta)
3 Balls of Fire(SoCal)
Glasgow Tiki Shakers(SoCal)
Astronauts tribute
Penetrators tribute
The El Caminos (Japan)
Boss Martians- Seattle, Wa.(reunion of 90s line up,& music)
The Surf Coasters- Japan
The Kilaueas- Germany
Threesome- Serbia
The Supertones- N.Y. N.Y.
The Surf Kings- Oceanside, Ca.
Frankie & the Pool Boys- S.F. Ca.
Atlantic Tribute
Davie Allan and the Arrows (50th Anniversary show)(USA)
The Eliminators(USA/So.Cal.)
Els A Phonics(Spain)
The Longboards(Spain)
The Volcanics(USA/So.Cal.)
The TomorrowMen(USA/Nor.Cal)
Boss Fink(USA/So.Cal.)
MoonBase(USA/Atlanta,Ga.)
Jim Messina and the Jesters tribute set.
The Phantom Four, featuring John Blair (Netherlands/U.S.A.)
Messer Chups (Russia)
The Bradipos IV (Italy)
George Tomsco of The Fireballs (New Mexico)
The Space Cossacks reunion (DC)
The Mach IV reunion (NorCal)
Tikiyaki 5-0 (So-Cal)
Crazy Aces (Tennessee)
Kelp (Santa Barbara)
The Secret Samurai (San Diego)
Original Surfaris Tribute

Danny Snyder

aka El Gringo Viejo of Combo Tezeta
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times

Last edited: Aug 28, 2016 11:38:10

I hope you can get the Alpine Village again. It was perfect for this.

www.surfintheeye.com

Part II - starting at 10:30 pm, the Convention!

All of us in the Cossacks were very happy with our set at the convention - it was probably one of if not thee best one we played (well, Doug said he played better the night before - but I couldn't tell! He really was fantastic both nights!) I gotta say that it was a true pleasure to play with the Cossacks again for these five reunion shows, and playing the convention again was a real privilege. I was worried about the attendance after a long day of surf music, and while some had left, there was still a very large and HIGHLY enthusiastic audience that gave us an amazing reception! Thank you all VERY MUCH! (One special memory - Phantom Frank actually came up to the stage, right in front of me, during the song Tsar Wars and gave me a big smile and an upraised fist - wow! Shocked )

Once we finished I was able to finally just relax - thank goodness, since the Phantom Four with John Blair were next, and for me, the greatest attraction of the whole convention. I wrote at length about their convention set here, so I'll just say that despite my expectations being extremely high, they surpassed them. Frank has been one of my greatest inspirations in surf music since I first really got into it in '94, and it was an immense pleasure to FINALLY see him in action, after 22 years of being such a big fan. And having my compadre John Blair on second guitar made the whole set even more special - especially when I saw him joining Frank in jumping on stage! I NEVER thought I would see that! But it was awesome! Great job, John! The crowd was SERIOUSLY into them, too - Frank has an on-stage presence the like I've never seen and he was able to really connect with the audience - who after a few songs were all jumping up and down right along with him! (Even Danny and Tony, standing right next to me - heck, even me, and I never do that!) It was probably my favorite set of surf music I've seen in many, many years.

There was another hour of so of camaraderie between the bands after the convention ended, which was very special for me. In particular, Messer Chups, the Bradipos IV and the Phantom Four were all milling about, and there was a lot of hugging and congratulating. Just wonderful.

Sunday was almost as special as Saturday. The Original Surfaris Tribute, Crazy Aces, the Mach IV, the Bradipos IV, George Tomsco, Messer Chups, the Phantom Four and the Space Cossacks - I think that's everybody. I got to see full sets by the three bands I missed the day before, the Mach IV (a total blast, those guys were having enough fun for all seven bands - sounded really great, too! Was so impressed by Tony's drumming in particular. He's turned into a total monster!), the Bradipos IV (a powerful, moving set, many songs from their new album of old Italian classics, they REALLY shine live - somehow that elusive quality they have live doesn't completely come through on their recordings, IMHO, but it only makes their live performances so much more special), and Messer Chups (man, what a great set! I saw them play at Surfer Joe last summer, but they really clicked with me this time around. Oleg is a fantastic guitarist with an exquisite touch on guitar, while Boris is another drumming monster - his solo during the final track, Peter Gunn, left me just stunned! And then of course, Svetlana adds a massive layer of cool and sexy on top of everything - and such a nice and warm woman in person! It was a privilige to be able to share the stage with them at these two shows). I got to see and enjoy only about 20 minutes of the Phantom Four set since I had to go change, get my stuff ready for our show and warm up - that was disappointing, I so BADLY wanted to watch their entire show, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Was really DREADING following them, too! But again, you gotta do what you gotta do!

We played another good - and FUN - set, though Mark had issues with a bad high-E string which kept unraveling at the ball-end, constantly throwing his Jaguar out of tune, and finally snapping just a couple of songs before the end of our set - it's one of those weird things where you can tell on stage that something is out of tune and you keep thinking it's YOU. So, there were many tuning breaks! Once the string broke, Oleg blessedly came to Mark's rescue, lending him his Jazzmaster - thank you so much, Oleg!! But despite this mini-crisis, it was a lot of fun, and I know that it was a particularly special show for Catherine and Doug, their first time playing at the HB pier, and like all of us, they were really struck by the beauty of it all.

We mingled for a while afterwards (really hard to say goodbye! I HATE that part!) and then went off to Surf Dog's for the final jam. Tomsco was already playing and sounding clean and gorgeous, with occasional backing by PJ. Don Schott was in charge of organizing the jams (and playing a few, too), and Maxx Kominsky was very active in many of them! He's turned into a truly fine surf guitarist, I am impressed more and more with him each passing year! We got some food and were able to catch up with the Atlanta contingent - Chad Shivers, Bob Walk, Jamie Galatas, Suellen Germani and more - and also my brothers Jeremy DeHart and Jonpaul Balak with Marie - what a pleasure to talk to all of them! And also Chris Fesker from Colorado - really good to see him! A ton of other people around, Doug of the Cossacks, Fady, Noel S., Mike Vernon, and many more that I'm forgetting right now - and then a bit later we were joined by none other than Niels Jansen of the Phantom Four! The rest of his band was resting at John Blair's house, but Niels took the car and came over, just to have more chance to talk to surf music people! I met Niels at Surfer Joe last year, and after just those two days and then again these two days, I feel a connection with him as though we've known each other for 30 years. But then, there is an astonishing number of people in this scene with whom I get this feeling. It's truly a family.

I was talked into playing Apache and the Savage, with Doug on drums, Jeremy on bass and Fady on rhythm guitar on the former and Chris F on rhythm guitar on the latter - great fun! Then a bit later on we were able to get Niels on drums, Jeremy on bass and me on rhythm to back Maxx on the Phantom Four's Ramgaya - and Maxx just KILLED IT!! You can see a video of it on YouTube - wow! (Actually, here it is: https://youtu.be/EHnwqy2aleU ) And now I can say I got to play with Niels, too! Whoo-hoo! As soon as it finished, Maxx talked me into playing Intruder with him on rhythm and Jeremy on bass, but who to drum?? Doug stepped up - but he had never heard the song! So, I told him, it's a typical Dick Dale thing, just follow me. Well, you could have knocked me over with the feather, but he picked up on EVERY cue exactly right until the breaks at the very end (which were tricky to communicate on the fly), and pulled it off like he had been playing the song for years! Just unbelievable, and it drove home what an incredible drummer he really is. Thank you, Maxx and Jeremy, that was a freakin' blast! And with that, it was over. We again milled around for a bit, but most of us had flights to catch in the morning, and we said our goodbyes with heavy hearts - and ringing ears! Smile

Special thanks for my Cossacks bandmates, playing these three shows was truly an honor, and everybody played incredibly well! I'm so grateful we got to do that! Also special thanks to my travel buddies Brian Neal and Danny Snyder (and also Doug part of the time, too) - it's a true treat to be able to share these few days with you every year and bask in the glow of your good friendship!

Most importantly: HUGE THANK YOU to Jeff, Kristina, Ran, and EVERYBODY else who makes these weekends possible! You've truly outdone yourselves this time! This one was definitely the best one yet, and one for the record books! Alpine Village was a big hit, and it's a perfect place for the convention. As Jeff said at the end of the evening, this is our new home! Very exciting!

Whew!! How much longer till the next one?? Time to start counting the days! And that may be the best way to close all this: folks, if you've not gone yet, PLEASE PLEASE do everything you can to go next year! I guarantee you will have an unforgettable and inspiring time! All real surf music fans, at least in the US, must start thinking of the Surf Guitar 101 Convention as a true annual pilgrimage, something not to be missed, a very special event. Jeff is working REALLY hard to make it an incredible experience for surf music fans, and given how few we are in numbers, the more support he gets the more amazing he can make it. And believe me, being there in person is VERY different from watching it on video! The camaraderie and new friendships are as important as the music. I really can't overemphasize how wonderful it is to be there - and it gets more wonderful with each new visit due to seeing more and more old friends. It's truly a family! I hope in the future we get to the point where this will really be a can't-miss event for all American surf fans!

Great to see so many of you again and love you all!!! Cheers

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

IvanP wrote:

I cannot and will not write a huge review, I don't have it in me and nobody would read it, anyway! So, let me attempt a quick summary

The famous not-even-close-to-last words!!! Big Grin

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Ivan,
Wouldn't be a review from you, if it wasn't a long epic tale.
Awesome Thank you, and Thank you for your kind words and trying to convince more people to come next year.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

WOW! How can you follow Ivan!!!

I had to take a kid off to college this weekend so I'm afraid my report will be even more tardy.

Just want to echo what both Ivan and Danny have said: this event has become a critical part of my life... it is an unbelievable event you have to see in person... all the bands and all the surf fans and friends make it an unforgettable experience each year. I'm amazed at how much this has grown every year.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Thanks for the detailed review, and I really appreciate the shout-out!
When's the next time we're seeing you here in one band or another?
Ran

IvanP wrote:

HUGE thanks to Ran for making this incredible amp and reverb unit collection available to all of us! I know that he really paid a personal price in doing that - having to be there very early both on Saturday morning and Sunday morning, and pretty late on both nights. Your generosity is deeply appreciated, Ran!

I'm still processing.
Seems like a dream.
Life, travel and work have been so crazy since the Convention...

Ivan, thank you for taking the time to post your full review. It helped me to relive quite a bit of the events.

I do have one regret: Of all the people I did get to meet and shake hands there were quite a few more I did not. Very sorry I let this happen.

Cheers,
Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

CrazyAces wrote:

Yes indeed, thank you Ran!
That's a good deal of hauling and work and we're very appreciative.

If I'd seen a load consolidated like that I'd have put a 10-person route clearance team out for security. Wow!
Laughing

Wes
SoCal ex-pat with a snow shovel

DISCLAIMER: The above is opinion/suggestion only & should not be used for mission planning/navigation, tweaking of instruments, beverage selection, or wardrobe choices.

Sorry this is so delayed. I started writing a blow by blow report of the whole trip, but much of it was already covered by Ivan, it was too long, and not sure anyone would want to read it. So I’m doing more of an impressions type thing.

I walked into the Alpine Village right as Jeff was talking about the SG101 website and how it was 10 years old. Good timing! I was really impressed with the Alpine Village, it was the best venue to date. It had lots of room, a well lighted professional stage, a big dance floor, a very large bar and it served food. I hope it works out to do Jeff’s plan of 2 nights for next year.

The first band I witnessed was the Original Surfaris Tribute which I enjoyed immensely. It was great having Original Original Surfaris member Al Valdez come up on stage and play keys on a few tunes. His smile was so infectious and you could tell he was blown away by the experience. There were several other Original Original Surfaris in the audience, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to them later. Can someone please remind me who was there? The band sounded great and they played some of my favorite OS tracks like Failsafe, Surfari, Bombora, Moment of Truth, and Exotic!

Next up were the Crazy Aces from Nashville. The Atlanta crew had really been hyping these guys up and they delivered a very tight and polished set. They hardly took a break as they blasted from song to song. Jeff Senn was bouncing all around with a big happy grin on his face and they really connected with the crowd. The band sported versions of the Jeff Senn designed guitar; they all looked and sounded great. The Crazy Aces have a solid set of rockin’, melodic and memorable songs, performed by first rate musicians! I heartily encourage everyone to check out their newly released EP.

After a long hiatus, the Secret Samurai returned to the SG101 stage. I hadn’t seen Ryan in so long I’m afraid I embarrassed him and myself by giving him a hug earlier in the day. It was great to see this band again. Ryan is a wizard on the guitar, playing rapid fire dizzying melodies on his Strat (wasn’t sure if it was going to be Strat or Jazzmaster this time Smile ). They played plenty of my favorites from their two albums as well as some really nice and obscure exotic sounding covers. So cool! Hope the Secret Samurai will be more active in the future.

Kelp was up next. I had never seen Kelp before and was not super familiar with their one album they released a long time ago. But they sounded great and they played my favorite track of theirs “El Alacrán”. I also appreciated them wearing pseudo lederhosen shirts and spoke to the crowd in a faux (bad) German accent in honor of the venue (LOL!).

My memory on the order of bands is getting fuzzy here. I think Tikiyaki 5-0 was next. I also wasn’t very familiar with this band, although I have listened to the full Tikiyaki Orchestra off and on and remember seeing Tikiyaki 5-0 last year at Surf Dogs. I thought there were really good. They played a nice tasty set of instrumentals, from surf to spy to loungey. They also played a cover of Shockwave by Zorba & The Greeks which was really boss (a while back I learned the keyboard player for Zorba & The Greeks is now a Ophthalmology professor at the University of Iowa, just down the road from me!). I immediately purchased the band’s new EP right after their set. Great stuff and highly recommended from me!

At some point the Legends Jam happened. It was really cool seeing Will Glover from the Pyramids, although he probably hates it when we surf nerds keep asking him to play Penetration (he didn’t play on the recording!!). But he did play the A-side, the song that was supposed to be a hit, “Here Comes Marsha” where he showed he was a really good singer. I believe he played a Chuck Berry song and then did a great job on “Bikini Drag”. Bob Spickard came out next along with Tracy Longstreth from the Rhythm Rockers (you can see more of Tracy on the Pounding Surf DVD). Bob’s played a few times at past conventions and it’s always a treat. He’s such a nice and humble guy and the crowd loved it. Paul Johnson is always amazing, and he did a set of songs next. I just love to hear Paul play, and this year and last year especially his sets have been stellar. I could listen to Paul play Tally-Ho and other Belairs and PJ & Galaxies songs all day. It’s such a treat to be able to have Paul perform and then walk around the rest of the day beaming at all the other bands, giving the thumbs up. Paul rules!!!

Okay so the wild card of the Legends Jam was seeing Randy Holden. Randy of course is the enigmatic lead guitarist of the obscure and legendary Fender IV, a band held in extremely high esteem by all of us surf nerds. Part of what makes the Fender IV so mysterious is there very small number of recordings and brief time span before they vanished. But what songs they had!! The excitement and anticipation was very high for Randy. I have to say when I saw him hit the stage I didn’t know what to expect. He was wearing a bandana, a long leather fringe-y guitar strap, and a completely transparent plastic / lucite guitar (even the neck!!). Whoa!! I turned to Warren and said “well this either going to be a disaster or something amazing”. Randy spent a fair amount of time getting his gear in order, plugging into two of the amps (he was known for being a huge gear head and amazingly loud back in the day), which added to the anticipation and fidgeting of the audience. But then the band (ably backed by Matt Quilter on bass, Dusty Watson (!!) on drums, and original Fender IV rhythm guitar player Jac Ttanna (aka Joe Kooken???)) launched into Mar Gaya, and it was like God himself was laying waste to us all. Holy hell it was incredible!!! Jaws were dropped and tears were shed. A truly unforgettable experience. They played Everybody Up, Malibu Run, and Little Ollie (finally clearing up which song was which) and Randy apparently even wrote a new surf song (!!!) called “Rogue Wave”. WOW!!! Randy and Jac seemed truly taken aback and very pleased / humbled by the reaction they got from the crowd, which was really cheering them on, all aware of the historical significance of this moment. Randy said they had to relearn these songs as they hadn’t played them in 50 years! I’m still blown away by this memory, and so glad I got to experience it in person. Hopefully we’ll see more of Randy and Jac in the future, it was so amazing.

Big thanks to Matt Quilter and John Blair for organizing the Legends Jam every year, it’s always a fantastic way to pay respect to the forefathers and ground breakers in our little genre!!!

George Tomsco from the Fireballs was next, backed by Marty Tippens on the drums, Paul Johnson on 2nd guitar, and Mike Vernon from 3 Balls of Fire. I had seen George a few nights before at Record Surplus, and likewise he played and sounded great. It was a real pleasure to hear those amazing and ground breaking Fireballs tunes, some of which go all they back to ‘58 and ‘59!!! I know it must have been a thrill for Paul, who has stated the Fireballs were an early inspiration. George still has it, and it was great hearing some of his stories, especially when Dick Clark called the Fireballs a surf band from New Mexico… and the guys had no idea what surf music was! The Fireballs were not immediately aware of the surf music explosion they had helped start going on in Southern California in the early 60’s.

This is getting too long so I’ll stop here. Stay tuned for part 2 (or more…?).

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Thanks for the kind words Brian and great review! It was so great to see you again my friend!

Ryan
The Secret Samurai Website
The Secret Samurai on Facebook

Awesome Brian, can't wait for more!!!

Jeff(bigtikidude)

Hey Everybody:
I'm still slowly recovering from the 1-2 punch of the Surf Guitar 101 Convention and Tiki Oasis weekends.
I'd like to thank all of the people that came, the bands that played, the volunteers who helped. And of course a Huge thank you to Ran aka (Kick the reverb)for the amps,and Dusty for the Drums.
And the great staff at the Alpine Village. Great Venue (hope to keep the event there for many years)

Since Tiki Oasis is moving 1 week earlier next year.
I'll be moving the Surf Guitar 101 convention earlier also.
2017 will be the 10th year anniversary of the Convention.
So it will be a 2 night show. Friday August 4th will be all the best So. Cal. bands.
And Saturday August 5th will be a huge all star line up of many International bands,
and bands from around the USA, And hopefully a few really big name bands from So. Cal. as headliners.

I hope many people will consider coming, As it will be the biggest and best Surf Guitar 101 convention yet.
And possibly make it a 2 weekend trip, as the Tiki Oasis theme "International Espionage" will surely
Make it a not to miss event also.

I hope to announce the band line up shortly after Jan. 1st.
But I just wanted to give everybody a heads up on the date change for next year.

Thanks to all the loyal yearly attendees,and to all of the 1st time attendees this year.
Jeff Hanson(bigtikidude)
Founder & Organizer of the Surf Guitar 101 Convention.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

Jeff
How many attended this year?

Happy Sunsets!

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